Greetings, Activists! We’re expecting an amazing turnout for Quaker Lobby Day 2010–around 60 people have registered so far. We’ve got a full and exciting agenda (attached), focusing this year on criminal justice and revenue issues. Our keynote speaker, Rep. Mary Helen Roberts, will challenge
Quakers to take the lead in organizing to significantly reducing the prison population over the next five years. We’ll also have a chance to participate en masse in a Rally to Protect Our Future at noon, urging legislators to find new revenue sources rather than cutting services to the vulnerable.
You’ll have a chance to order a sack lunch when you arrive, and Quaker Lobby Day is free–except for a free-will donation to cover our costs. See travel directions below.
If you’re already registered, we’ll see you Monday at 8:30 a.m. If you haven’t signed up yet, there’s still time. Just contact our “registrar,” Sarah Murphy, at
And by the way, the traditional faith-group lobby day, Faith Advocacy Day, isTuesday, February 16. This event is interfaith for the first time this year, combining members of mainline Christian churches with representatives of other faith groups. So if you can stay overnight in Olympia and join our allies for another day of lobbying on Tuesday, register at http://www.acteva.com/booking.cfm?bevaID=195943&CFID=21676498&CFTOKEN=40914360.
TRAVEL DIRECTIONS TO THE OLYMPIA FRIENDS MEETING HOUSE:
219 B Street SWTumwater, WA 98512
Southbound on I-5: Take 2nd Ave Exit (Exit 103) in the Olympia area. Stay straight to go onto North 2nd Avenue (proceeding south). Continue on 2nd Avenue for about 0.4 miles to B Street. Park on 2nd Avenue before or after B Street.
Southbound on 101: Take exit for Portland/Tumwater onto I-5 when 101 ends approaching the Olympia area. Take exit for Tumwater and stay straight to go onto North 2nd Avenue (proceeding south). Continue on 2nd Avenue for about 0.2 miles to B Street. Park on 2nd Avenue before or after B Street.
Carol Estes, Policy Analyst and Legislative Advocate
Friends Committee on Washington Public Policy
Quaker Lobby Day 2010
TENTATIVE SCHEDULE FOR THE DAY
Please take time to place your lunch orders and meet the others from your legislative district.
9:15–9:25 Introduction to QLD 2010
Tom Ewell, in his second year as clerk of FCWPP, also serves on the board of the FCNL. Tom has worked on criminal justice legislature matters for over 20 years and served on the Maine Board of Prison Visitors for 10 years.
9:25–10:30 CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM
9:25–9:45 Keynote Speaker: Representative Mary Helen Roberts
Mary Helen Roberts has represented the 21st legislative district in the House since 2004. She has long been active in the United Way and served as a member of the Edmonds Community College Board of Trustees. She is also co-founder and former chair of the Children’s Campaign Fund and has been a leader in efforts to safely reduce the prison population in Washington.
9:45 Fixing Three Strikes—What’s the Prognosis?
Noemie Maxwell, a librarian by training, is founder and organizer of the Fix Three Strikes Coalition, which now has 28 organizational members, including FCWPP. Working in partnership with Justice Works, an organization of prisoners and their families, Noemie has done countless presentations on Three Strikes at venues ranging from county fairs to the legislature. She reports on criminal justice issues through Washblog (www.washblog.com).
10:00 Second Look Legislation—An Old Idea in New Clothes
Carol Estes is the policy analyst and legislative advocate for FCWPP. She is also the volunteer founder and director of University Behind Bars, a prison college program at Washington State Reformatory that uses volunteer professors from area colleges to teach classes to prisoners for credit. The program has 150 participants and has awarded about 400 hours of college credit, as well as two associate’s degrees.
10:15 On Voting Rights for Prisoners and Ex-prisoners
- Why we’re still talking about voting rights for ex-felons
Sam Merrill is currently clerk of FCWPP’s Legislative Committee and has actively lobbied on voting rights for ex-felons for three years, including last year, when landmark legislation was passed. Sam was also part of a groupthat took turns conducting Quaker meetings in a Pennsylvania prison for about 10 years.
- Should prisoners be allowed to vote while they’re in prison? The Court says “Yes!”
Tom Ewell proposes FCWPP become a “friend of the court.”
- On voting, an excerpt from Walla Walla Journal, a book-length work of nonfiction by Art
Longworth, who is serving a sentence of Life Without the Possibility of Parole in Washington State Reformatory.
10:45–11:00 WORKING GROUP BRIEFINGS
- Global Climate Change Working Group, headed by Dan Clark
- Restorative Justice Working Group, headed by Paul McCold
11:00–11:30 ECONOMIC JUSTICE
Steven Aldrich, a labor organizer and member of the FCWPP Legislative Committee, explains the array of problems created by the state’s unprecedented revenue shortfall and how the proposals contained in SB 6843 address those problems.
Pick up your sack lunch and leave for the Protect Our Future Rally, which begins at noon on the capital steps. Or, if you prefer, have lunch with others from your legislative district.
12-4 P.M. MEETINGS WITH LEGISLATORS
IN BETWEEN AND AFTER YOUR APPOINTMENTS
If you like, stop by the QLD table in the Pritchard Cafeteria to debrief. We’d love to hear how your lobbying went and how your legislators responded to your concerns.